Westar energizes Jeffrey to East Manhattan transmission line ahead of schedule

Westar Energy on April 7 energized a rebuilt transmission line that connects the Jeffrey Energy Center, north of St. Marys, Kan., and a substation east of Manhattan, Kan.

Construction of the transmission line began last June, the company added in its April 12 statement, noting that the estimated cost of the line is $41m, which is $17m below the original $58m budget. The line was energized nearly two months ahead of schedule, the company said.

According to the company’s website, the Jeffrey Energy Center is a 2,155-MW coal plant that was commissioned in 1978, and is fueled by low-sulfur coal. Westar Energy owns 92% of the plant, while Great Plains Inc., owns 8%, the site noted.

A company spokesperson on April 13 told TransmissionHub that the substation’s name is the East Manhattan substation, and that the Jeffrey to East Manhattan line is nearly 26 miles long.

The company said in its statement that along with improving reliability, the rebuild updates the construction to single-pole steel structures that are more resilient to weather conditions and easier to farm around than H-frame structures that were replaced.

While the line will continue to operate at 230 kV, it was built to 345-kV standards so that the voltage can be increased as needs in the area change, the company said.

The spokesperson said that the entire design is for future 345-kV operation, including increased conductor spacing to the ground, larger conductor to carry more electricity, steel structures to carry the additional conductor weight, as well as bigger and stronger insulators.

The project was needed to support load growth in Manhattan and the surrounding areas, the spokesperson said.

The East Manhattan substation is fed at 230 kV from the North Manhattan substation, which is located north of Manhattan, Kan., the spokesperson said, adding that the East Manhattan substation is currently a 230/115-kV substation, as well as a 12-kV distribution source for Manhattan.

“The rebuilt line has larger conductor to allow more electricity to flow at 230 kV,” the spokesperson said.

Future plans are to increase the voltage at the North Manhattan substation and Jeffrey Energy Center to 345 kV, ergo the need to upgrade the Jeffrey Energy Center to the East Manhattan line now, the spokesperson said.

Westar Energy said in its statement that it has invested more than $1bn in the Kansas transmission grid over the past six years.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.